Online Entertainment

Firms Must Learn to Manage Multiple Messaging Formats

Call it messaging, multiplied. As the number of modes of delivering messages increases to include e-mail, IM, VoIP, text messaging and voicemail, so do the volumes and different types of messages that companies must manage.

“Messaging is not just for kids anymore,” Brian Hicks, co-director of Independent Mobile, a reseller of mobile technologies based in Framingham, Mass., told TechNewsWorld.

However, this high volume of messaging multiplied is challenging corporate IT departments which are getting hit from a massive influx of messages that not only pose security risks, but also create a strain on system resources and reduce productivity in the workplace, Hicks said.

Volume Increasing

The network management services company Postini recently gathered the results of a comprehensive survey of 615 IT professionals concerned about the increasing volume of messages beyond just IM and e-mail.

These professionals believe that controlling the volume of messaging is their number one priority in 2006, and that new forms of messaging such as VoIP, mobile messaging and voicemail are increasingly becoming security threats.

Key findings of the Postini survey included the following:

  • The volume of messaging is by far the biggest end user problem with messaging, and controlling this volume is the top priority of administrators;
  • Nearly 90 percent of respondents expect e-mail volumes to increase next year, with 25 percent predicting dramatic increases;
  • Other forms of messages will grow too, including IM, voice, text, video and unified messaging, according to about 40 percent of respondents;
  • The proliferation of messaging is also causing concerns over too many large email attachments and employee productivity issues, which rank in the top 3 end user messaging problems.

Central Control

Postini, itself, filters more than one billion e-mail and IM messages per day, looking for spam or viruses, archiving for backup and compliance, and delivering them in real-time to customers. Given the critical nature of electronic messaging and the inherent vulnerabilities of the underlying communications channels, it is imperative that customers have an integrated framework that secures, ensures compliance and provides continuity for their users, regardless of the type of messaging used.

The ability to centrally monitor multiple message flows, along with making the messages secure and compliant, is critical.

Storing the e-mail and messages is a concern too — a costly concern for companies. “Digital storage has gotten a lot cheaper over the years,” Paul Kole, president of Kole & Associates, an IT consulting company, based in Cambridge, Mass., told TechNewsWorld. “But is isn’t free. Keep in mind when you’re storing a lot of garbage, along with important stuff, you’re still paying for the garbage too.”

Sorting Process Needed

Kole said that in the future there will be more “sorting through” of stored messages, to filter out the garbage. He believes that a lot of “personal chatter” is being stored, along with important business messages, and that this is what is causing costs to rise for corporations, among other factors. People are sending personal instant messages during work, draining productivity too.

“This seems to be happening more and more,” Kole said. “It’s kind of like passing notes around a classroom while the teacher is talking.”

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